Teens denied bail in beheading case

2014-09-22 18:25
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Durban - A 17-year-old and a 16-year-old accused of stabbing and beheading a Durban prostitute were denied bail in the Durban Magistrate's court on Monday.

The two teenage boys are charged, along with a 16-year-old girl, traditional healer Sivonkaliso Mbili, 32, and his assistant Vusumuzi Gumede, 30, of killing Desiree Murugan last month.

Murugan's headless body was found on the field of Shallcross Stadium in Durban by municipal workers on 18 August. Police later recovered her head at Mbili's home.

Magistrate Omi Singh said that while the two were young, their alleged crime was vicious and it was "clear that there is no parental control to ensure that they attend school".

Refusing bail, Singh said that Avinash Bissessor, the minors' lawyer, had failed to prove that there were any exceptional circumstances that could lead to the granting of bail.

"This court cannot lose sight of the fact that this murder was committed in a very violent manner," he said.

Initially, all five had been expected to apply for bail, but Mbili, Gumede and the teenage girl abandoned their bail application.

The three minors, who cannot be named, had initially last week indicated that they would plead guilty. However, after co-accused Falakhe Khumalo, 18, pleaded guilty and was sentenced to life imprisonment earlier this month, they changed their minds and indicated that they would be pleading not guilty.

Khumalo claimed Mbili promised him R2m in June 2013 for the head of a white, Indian or coloured woman. Khumalo said he and the minors lured Murugan to the stadium, where he paid her R100 for sex.

He said one of the minors stabbed her several times before her head was cut off. They took the head to Mbili, who allegedly dissected it and ordered Gumede to bury the tongue and brain in tins behind Mbili's house.

Investigating officer Warrant Officer Ajith Singh told the court on Monday: "They agreed to the plan because they also wanted the money."

The State opposed bail, and Singh told the court that the accused knew the State's witnesses, who would not testify if the two children were released on bail.

He believed they were also a flight risk.

He also told the court that in light of community reaction to the murder, that the lives of the two minors could also be in danger if they were granted bail.

The case was adjourned to 3 October, and Magistrate Singh ordered that the two minors be detained at Westville Prison's juvenile facility.

Read more on:    durban  |  crime

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